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Xuesen Qian

Xuesen Qian or Hsueh-sen Chien or Hsue-shen Tsien, Chinese engineer and physicist (Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province 11 December 1911- Beijing 31 October 2009)

His relative is Nobel Prize winner Roger Yonchien Tsien

Recognized as one of the world’s leading aerodynamicists


A method for predicting the compressibility burble

With M.C. Chang. A similarity law for stressing rapidly heated thin-walled cylinders

A method for comparing the performance of power plants for vertical flight

Developed a method for two dimensional subsonic compressible flow and a procedure which enables the prediction of the compressibility burble from test data obtained at low air speeds

With T. Von Karman gave a general relation between drag and heat transfer as function of Mach’s number

Developed a general method using step-wise doublet distribution for a pointed projectile

With E.J. Malina presented an exact solution of the problem of determining the height reached by a body in vertical flight in vacuo propelled by successive impulses

Developed a new principle involving the energy level and the geometric restraint to determine buckling of thin shells in equilibrium states

Gave a generalization of Blasius theorem for calculating aerodynamic forces acting on an airfoil

With E. Reissner & C.C. Lin presented a simple unified treatment of the unsteady two-dimensional polytropic potential flow around a slender body

Formulated rules for achieving complete flow similarity of rarified gas flow

Generalized Alfrey theorem  for isotropic compressible media involving body forces

With T.C. Adamson & E.L. Knuth suggested a scheme of tracking  and automatic navigation involving a high-speed computer and elevator servo for a long range rocket vehicle  

Co-authored the article Comment and initial analysis of long-range rocket, which laid a foundation for ground-to-ground missiles and sounding rocket theory

Put forward a new methodology of systems engineering, the metasynthetic engineering

With J.Y. Yu & R.W. Dai. A new discipline of science. The study of open complex giant system and its methodology (1988)



Karman-Qian formula

Karman-Tsien method

Karman-Tsien law

Karman-Tsien correction factor 


Qianxuesen 3763 (asteroid)